I don't know what's funnier: that a swamp rodent took up residence in a Louisiana WalMart or that the WalMart employees were allegedly keeping the thing as a pet and had named it Norman. Sadly, things got out of hand when the nutria scurried across an aisle, causing a woman to shriek and sue for $2000 in psychological damage.
That's intriguing, because it's the exact same response Matt Davis had when he hunted for nutria in Milwaukie back in the fall, but he hasn't gotten around to suing anyone yet. Even though, as the above article grimly reminds us, "Nutria have bright orange buck teeth and can weigh up to 18 pounds."
I figure there has to be some other side to this story - who are these nutria lovers who harbor the rat-tailed rodents as pets? The WalMart employees aren't speaking up in Norman's defense. In fact, the only nutria defender I can find is this bizarre little Beaverton blog that is home to this equally bizarre little poll:
Question: Are nutria cute?Answers Percent
1. Yes - 43%
2. No - 11%
3. Sometimes - 9%
4. Only the babies - 6%
5. What? Those giant rats?! You've gotta be kidding me! - 32%
So nutria lovers are a silent majority! Who knew? Meanwhile, the Statesman Journal has some sage advice for how to humanely put down nutria: shoot them in the head.